According to a new research study of new-car buyers conducted in cooperation with R.L. Polk & Co, new-car buyers find the Internet to be one of the most helpful media sources for information throughout the entire car-shopping process. And the Internet is second only to the dealer visit – where consumers interact with and test drive the car – as the overall most useful source of information throughout the entire car-shopping process.
While, according to the study, 42% of new-car buyers said the Internet was the most helpful source of information during their car buying process, only 8% said television was the most helpful source of information, 2% said direct mail was the most helpful source and only 1% said radio or newspapers were the most helpful sources.
However, 2006 National Automobile Dealers Association data indicated 27.3% of dealer advertising dollars were spent on newspapers, 19.5% was spent on television and 18.1% was spent on radio, while only 11.5% of dealer advertising dollars were spent on Internet. Direct mail accounted for 10.2% of dealers’ advertising spend and 13.4% was attributed to "other" sources. In 2005, according to NADA data, 9.9% of dealer advertising dollars were spent on Internet advertising.
When searching the Internet for new cars, 27% of new car buyers said dealer inventory was the most important piece of information they wanted. In searching the Internet, 36% of new-car buyers said the original manufacturers sites were the most useful of the Internet sites they searched. 20% said third-party car sites were the most useful sites and 18% said individual dealer sites were the most useful sites.
RBR observation: Ok what did you just learn? 27.3% of dealer advertising dollars were spent on newspapers and as print that is tossed in your driveway goes unread it is time to spend more effort with the local dealers as radio is the one medium that can do remotes. Now we can bang on your heads about this but you know the answers and the value of local remotes. The next key is your stations website where you can post a link to the dealers site or better yet post his inventory with photos on your site. (Note: RBR will be getting into more Ad Business with websites soon.)